LSAT and Law School Admissions Forum

Get expert LSAT preparation and law school admissions advice from PowerScore Test Preparation.

Lesson help relating to our Advanced Logical Reasoning Course.
  • Posts: 194
  • Joined: Jun 01, 2018

I have a couple follow up questions about this, that I am looking forward to learning about:

This is identified as a strengthen-PR, it seems to me, to be flowing from the stimulus to the answer choices, causing me to think MSS/MBT/Prove Family type. In order to explain this, the stem states, "Mary's decision most closely accords with which one of the following principles?"

My first thoughts are, "ok, find an answer choice that aligns or agrees with Mary's choice to not take part in the experiment she has been assigned."

How is this a strengthen idea?

In regards to the correct answer choice (B):

The absence of the requirement of "immediately assist," apparently justifies Mary's choice to not participate in the experiment, so then would the absence of "immediately assist," not justify her choice if she chose to participate in the experiment, and is the absence of "immediately assist" the same as "not immediately assist?"

Side Note: This is an abstract perspective, in my opinion, since the stimulus contains no details about the latter of the correct answer choice (B).
 Jay Donnell
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 142
  • Joined: Jan 09, 2019

You're right that this would seem to be an extremely unusual member of the Strengthen family, but it all boils down to the inclusion of the word 'principles' in the stem, and where in the question they happen to be.

Principles are akin to generalizations, and as we all know too well, it's not good ( and far from logical) to generalize. That means, we will never be asked to support a generalization (principle); rather, that idea becomes the source of support in the question.

In MBT/MSS questions, the principle/s can be found in the stimulus, and are used to support the reasoning in the correct response.

In Strengthen/Justify questions (and the occasional Assumption), the principles are found in every answer, with the correct response being the choice whose principle appropriately supports the reasoning found in the stimulus.

Here, Mary's idea not to engage in this assignment is bolstered by the idea found in B, which gives her clear justification in her reasons to abstain.

In regards to the 'immediately assist' query of yours, since we aren't told that this is some sort of emergency situation where the life of that individual (dog, in this case) will be instrumental in saving the lives of several animals or protecting a person, we can activate this portion of the principle and use it to support her decision. The 'immediate' portion may not be an essential point, but as the situation at hand is clearly research based and not spurred by an emergency, then this principle allows Mary to appeal, or be in accord with, reasoning to back her up.

Hope that helps!

Get the most out of your LSAT Prep Plus subscription.

Analyze and track your performance with our Testing and Analytics Package.